DARIO NAPOLI: Bella Vita
Dario’s first release with Blue Night Records. An all-instrumental, mostly acoustic set of nine tunes, ranging from four of his gypsy-infused jazz instrumentals to more modern versions of contemporary jazz classics. Just lead guitars (Dario), solid rhythm guitar (Tommaso Papini) and bass (Tonino De Sensi) — Italian through and through.
VARIOUS ARTISTS: Rescue Me
Rescue Me!, a very special project featuring some of acoustic music’s most respected and gifted artists and songwriters. Each of them donated a track, and Blue Night Records will be donating all of the profits from CD sales and full disc downloads to animal welfare organizations. Twelve tracks in the compilation, six about cats and six about dogs. Prerelease copies available now from Elderly Instruments. The official release date was April 30, 2017 — National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day.
STEVE SPURGIN: Solo Flight
Despite his varied musical background, from bluegrass bands to country groups to a pop lounge act to choral ensembles, there’s a folkie somewhere in Steve Spurgin’s head. It escapes in Solo Flight, Steve’s third Blue Night Records release. He chose all the songs for this project, from such well-known writers as Norman Blake (“Church Street Blues), Steve Gillette & Tom Campbell (“Darcy Farrow”), Hoyt Axton (“Angelina”), and Hal Ketchum ( ‘I Miss My Mary Tonight”). Characteristically, Steve wrote four of the songs himself, including our favorite: “The Light’s Still on at Trixie’s”. What makes this project especially unique, aside from Steve’s stellar voice, of course, is the way he wanted to do it. Just him, his old faithful guitar, and a couple of microphones. No side men, no background vocalists, no studio tricks. Just Steve Spurgin in your living room. You couldn’t be in better musical company.
JOHN MALCOLM PENN: L.A. BLUES
This third Blue Night Records (BNR) release from John Malcolm Penn is yet another pearl in a growing string. As in his previous two projects for us, he wrote all the melodies and lyrics, played all the instruments, and sang all the vocal parts. His style and sound are instantly recognizable. If you’ve ever lived in L.A., you know about the importance of escaping every once in a while — perhaps up the coast to Jenner, maybe the wine country of Sonoma, to Red’s Meadow near Mammoth Lakes, or even to Lake Elsinore. Get ready to travel, because John’s music and lyrics will take you places. He’s a gentle spirit. An old soul. You couldn’t have a more caring scout/wagon master leading you down paths unknown. Blue Night Records is once again proud to present another glimpse into the artistry, creativity and musicality of John Malcolm Penn.
JOHN MALCOLM PENN: Driftin’ River
John Malcolm Penn follows his previous Blue Night Records release (Hangtown Fry) with yet another gem, Driftin’ River. Once more this California-based songwriter has put together a collection of original tunes that cements his reputation as a serious storyteller. On this musical outing, we get a further glimpse into the folksy and homespun world of Mr. Penn. He played all the instruments, sang all the vocal parts, and wrote all the songs. These real-life stories and tributes, with musical notes attached, are not only entertaining, but thought-provoking as well. Driftin’ Riveralso contains several instrumentals that are a real plus, and serve to keep the mood rolling. So we invite you to drift along with this exciting new release from Blue Night Records, as John Malcolm Penn takes you on another journey of the heart.
STEVE SPURGIN: Folk Remedies
STEVE SPURGIN’S “Folk Remedies” has been released. It is now available from Elderly Instruments (Elderly.com), and copies in disc and download formats will very soon be available from CDBaby.com, Amazon.com, and other conventional retail and electronic outlets.Pre-release orders are now available from Elderly Instruments (Elderly.com), and post-release copies and downloads will soon be offered by CDBaby, Amazon.com, and many other conventional retail outlets. We recorded it at The Parlor Studio in Nashville (thanks again to engineer John Saylor for a great job), with the able assistance of Jim Hurst (guitar) and Missy Raines (upright bass). Mixing and mastering were done by Eric Uglum at New Wine Sound Studio in Apple Valley, California (thanks Eric — you went above and beyond).
JOHN MALCOLM PENN: Hangtown Fry
This man is a journeyman folk singer. He has a beautiful is a gifted songwriter. From the hundreds of songs he sent us, we selected twelve. Each is a gem. I guess we “rediscovered” John in some ways, and we’re just amazed that the world has not yet had the pleasure of experiencing his genius. For “Hangtown Fry” John wrote all the songs, sang all the parts, and played all the instruments. Welcome to Blue Night Records, John. We’re very proud you’re with us.
DAN CRARY and THUNDERATION: Perfect Storm
DAN CRARY and THUNDERATION is Dan’s newest sound fusion ensemble, and the amazing music just keeps flowing. This time Dan has partnered with long time friend and musical comrade, singer/songwriter Steve Spurgin, as well as power hitters Don Stiernberg (mandolin), John Reischman (mandolin), and Keith Little (banjo, mandolin). Also adding sparkle and creativity are the up and coming Luke Dewhirst (banjo) and Martin Stevens (fiddle). The approach is fresh, yet remains fully grounded in American roots music. “PERFECT STORM” is simply Dan Crary at his best.
STEVE SPURGIN: Past Perfect
Acclaimed solo outing from bluegrass veteran and former Byron Berline & California member Spurgin, with a handpicked slate of all-star studio buddies: Dobro ace Rob Ickes, Swiss luminaries Uwe and Jens Kruger, mandolinist Adam Steffey and bassist Rusty Holloway. Ten Spurgin originals plus John Malcolm Penn’s “Sasquatch” and Gordon Lightfoot’s “Song for a Winter’s Night”.
DON STIERNBERG: Swing 220
An all acoustic, all instrumental collection of swing classics featuring improvisational interplay among mandolin, guitar and upright bass — all played by recognized masters of their instruments: Don Stiernberg – mandolin; Jeff Jenkins – Guitar, Rusty Holloway, double bass.
DON STIERNBERG: Home Cookin’
Don Stiernberg is widely acknowledged as one of the world’s foremost jazz mandolinists. He is also a terrific guitarist and a fabulous singer. In “Home Cookin’,” Don’s fifth release on Blue Night Records, he wears all three hats. Once again joined by bassist Jim Cox, and with contributions by some of Chicago’s hottest session guitarists and percussionists, he offers up musical dishes tinged with blues soul, Brazilian spice, and other exotic ingredients.
JOHN CARLINI: Further Adventures
John Carlini is a guitar master. In “Further Adventures,” the first recording to focus exclusively on his exquisite solo guitar work, John sets forth (with Jim Cox – bass and Phil Gratteau – drums)a collection of jazz and contemporary standards. John’s own composition “T for Me” is also included. This all-instrumental, stunningly recorded album of laid back, acoustic jazz would be a fitting addition to the music collection of any acoustic music fan.
DON STIERNBERG & JOHN CARLINI – By George
It’s all Gershwin. It’s all instrumental. It’s all acoustic. With “By George” virtuoso Don Stiernberg and stellar guitarist John Carlini show what those instruments can do in the right hands.
Don and John initially set forth George’s melodies as written, then engage in playful improvisation while being ever respectful of the musical integrity built into the original manuscripts. Their renditions are modern, yet with an eye toward a time when Gershwinesque chordal excursions were new.
DON STIERNBERG & JOHN CARLINI: Angel eyes
Laid back jazz standards done in an elegant, acoustic ensemble setting. That’s what you get with “Angel Eyes.” Master mandolinist Don Stiernberg and journeyman guitarist John Carlini are the perfect team to present these classic tunes with style, grace and melodic counterpoint. Against a rich rhythmic texture woven by bassist Jim Cox and drummer Phil Gratteau, Don and John breathe new life into these jazz gems.
DON STIERNBERG: Unseasonably Cool
More straight ahead acoustic jazz from virtuoso mandolinist Don Stiernberg. In an acoustic ensemble setting (guitar, bass, drums), he proves once again that the mandolin is a force to be reckoned with in the jazz idiom. Don’s lyric phrasing and textural chord progressions speak volumes about his mastery — not merely of his chosen instrument, but also of the great American songbook.
DON STIERNBERG: About Time
“About Time” is Don Stiernberg’s inaugural release on Blue Night Records. David Grisman called it “Another Milestone for Jazz Mandolin.” It is a delightful mix of tunes from a bygone era, painting various images for the listener — from a mild summer evening dancing in the moonlight (Polka Dots and Moonbeams) to a steamy night in the back of the old Chevrolet (Fever).